Tag: longer

Tom Daley no longer a Potter fan as he struggles with JK Rowling’s views

Tom Daley

British Olympic diver Tom Daley has admitted he’s fallen out of love with Harry Potter as he struggles to reconcile JK Rowling’s views on transgender people.

Until recently Daley was a huge Potter fan, enjoying a private tour of Warner Brother’s Harry Potter World in London when he and his husband were newlyweds.

Daley even chose Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone as his favourite book on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs in 2018.

But he’s now had a serious change of heart in light of the author’s controversial comments about trans rights.

“I did love JK Rowling’s books,” he told The Times. “But it does always leave a little bit of a…” Here he seemed about to say “bad taste”, according to the paper.

Daley, 26, acknowledged Rowling’s support after evangelical Christians on Twitter claimed he’d dived badly in the 2016 Olympics because he was gay.

“So, the thing is, she stuck up for me in the past,” he said, adding that he was grateful for it at the time.

“But then what she said about trans people… It’s one of the hardest things to understand, how trans people think and feel, because she has never lived that experience, the same way white people trying to understand the Black experience will never be able to understand that.”

He said he would now change his Desert Island Disc book choice and pick A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle, a “spiritual manifesto” about living life without anger, jealousy, and unhappiness.

Asked what he would say to Rowling in person, he said: “It’s hard because I’m not someone who likes conflict, but I have strong views and beliefs.

“I guess it would be a conversation rather than a shouting match. I always try to listen first and try to understand, and then try to share my point of view and my opinions and show how things [said] can hurt other people, to try to get the best outcome.”

Tom Daley’s husband, Dustin Lance Black, used stronger terms to describe the author after the release of her latest book – a novel about a cis male serial killer who dresses as a woman to murder his victims.

“JK’s work has always been jammed full of ‘borrowed’ old tropes. It was just that she ‘borrowed’ tales many enjoyed revisiting,” he wrote in a now-deleted tweet.

“Her new well: long disproven, discriminatory old tropes and lies sown by bigots. She’s a pretender. A thief. A fraud. And likely always has been.”

Munroe Bergdorf no longer describes herself as ‘born in the wrong body’

Munroe Bergdorf: L'Oreal eviscerated for Black Lives Matter message

Munroe Bergdorf at an LGBTQ+ History Month breakfast in February 25, 2020 in London, England. (David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty)

Model and activist Munroe Bergdorf has explained why she no longer uses the phrase “born in the wrong body” to describe her trans experience.

Munroe Bergdorf, a patron for the trans-support charity Mermaids, shared her thoughts with the organisation on the phrase, often used to explain the trans experience to cisgender people.

She said that while she had previously described herself as “born in the wrong body”, the phrase no longer felt like it fit.

Bergdorf said: “I’ve come to understand why the phrase ‘born in the wrong body’ is unhelpful to me.

“I know why I used to use it; because other people struggled to understand, but looking back I know it did me harm.

“Saying you have the wrong body feels like a kind of self-abuse, and it’s not the same as saying ‘I need to adjust my body to be my true self’. That’s a different thing.

“We only get one body and it’s really important, especially for younger people to know they are unique and beautiful. I would say to younger people that transitioning is hard so you need to look after your body, love it and respect it.”

According to Mermaids: “The phrase is one we’ve used ourselves in the past and, at the time, it seemed helpful.

“Back then, the idea that anyone – let alone a young person – could be transgender or gender-diverse was a new concept for many of those we spoke to. That collective lack of experience meant transgender people and support organisations had to find some way of explaining what being trans meant.”

The charity added that its “broad position” was that “no child is born in the wrong body”, but that every person must describe their experience in a way that feels right for them.

Mermaids added: “We believe that transgender people shouldn’t be expected or encouraged to reject their entire amazing, intelligent, beautiful, creative bodies, simply because of gender incongruity.

“Still, we also know some people – including some of our amazing patrons – do use that phrase to express who they are.

“It is your right to use whatever words you choose to describe yourself.”